Mayor Bill de Blasio Releases Plan for New York City’s Workforce and Highlights NYACH as a Model

Policy Updates

Jobs for New Yorkers imageOn November 21, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Jobs for New Yorkers Task Force released their plan for New York City’s workforce development system.  The announcement took place at Lehman College in the Bronx, highlighted NYACH as a model industry partnership, to be replicated in other sectors, and featured students from NYACH’s Medical Assistant and RN Transition to Practice programs.  The recommendations in the report Career Pathways: One City Working Together were developed over a period of months by the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development in coordination with representatives from government, industry, academia, philanthropy, labor, and the community.

The report begins by reviewing the challenges inherent in the New York City economy, with job growth concentrated in low-income sectors, persistent unemployment, and a shortage of the talent needed by many employers.  The current public workforce system is praised for dramatic increases in the number of job placements over previous years while also critiqued for its focus on “rapid attachment” to work with little regard to job quality, retention, and career advancement.  Emphasis is placed on the need for greater coordination and data-sharing between city agencies and links between economic and workforce development planning.

Career Pathways: One City Working Together sets out the following goals, strategies, and specific recommendations to remake the workforce development system in New York City:

Goals:

  • Support career advancement and income mobility by helping job-seekers and incumbent workers address educational needs and develop high-demand skills
  • Ensure that businesses in New York City can find the talent they need within the five boroughs
  • Improve the quality of low-wage jobs to benefit both workers and their employers
  • Leverage New York City’s economic development investments and purchasing power to place more New Yorkers into jobs
  • Function as a coherent system that rewards job quality instead of the quantity of job placements by using system-wide job outcome data

Strategies and Recommendations:

Building the skills employers seek

  • Launch or expand Industry Partnerships with real-time feedback loops in six sectors: healthcare, technology, industrial/manufacturing, and construction, which will focus on training more New Yorkers for jobs with career potential, and retail and food service, which will focus on improving the quality of low-wage occupations.
  • Establish Career Pathways as the framework for the City’s workforce system
  • Invest $60 million annually by 2020 in bridge programs that prepare low-skill job-seekers for entry-level work and middle-skill job training.
  • Triple the City’s training investment to $100 million annually by 2020 in career-track, middle-skill occupations, including greater support for incumbent workers who are not getting ahead.
  • Improve and expand CTE and college preparedness programs, adjust CUNY’s alternative credit policy, and invest in career counseling to increase educational persistence and better support students’ long-term employment prospects.
  • Increase work-based learning opportunities for youth and high-need job-seekers.

Improving job quality

  • Create a standard that recognizes high-road employers who have good business practices, with the goal of assessing at least 500 local businesses by the end of 2015.
  • Improve the conditions of low-wage work by expanding access to financial empowerment resources in partnership with at least 100 employers and pursuing legislative changes such as increasing the minimum wage.

Increasing system and policy coordination

  • Maximize local job opportunities through the City’s contracts and economic development investments by establishing a “First Source” hiring process and enforcing targeted hiring provisions in social service contracts
  • Reimburse workforce agencies on the basis of job quality instead of the quantity of job placements by aligning service providers under a system-wide data infrastructure that measures job outcomes such as full-time work, wage growth, and job continuity.

More information is available at nyc.gov/careerpathways.